A couple in Chiayi City could face a fine and criminal responsibility for forcing their Indonesian worker, a Muslim, to cook pork and work long hours, an official said yesterday.
The employer could be fined between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000 if found guilty of violating the Employment Services Act (就業服務法), said Fu Hui-chih (傅慧芝), a foreign worker management section chief at the Council of Labor Affairs.
Fu said any of the more than 190,000 foreign caregivers in Taiwan could call the “1955” hotline to seek government protection if their rights are violated.
Fu’s remarks came one day after police in Chiayi City said the Indonesian worker recently went to a police station to complain that when she came to Taiwan in January last year, she was misled into thinking she would be taking care of an elderly person.
Instead, the 27-year-old alleged that she had to work for up to 16 hours a day at a shop run by her employer in a traditional market and was forced to handle pork, which her religion forbids.
The police chief said the couple threatened to have her sent back to Indonesia if she did not comply with their demands.
To prevent her from absconding, the couple also withheld her wages for more than a year and tried to prevent her from communicating with anyone about this issue.